de Valk is the founder of Yoast, a company that produces the well-known search engine optimization (SEO) plugin, Yoast SEO, available on four different platforms.
He is also the leader for marketing and communications for WordPress.org.
From learning about SEO basics you shouldn’t ignore to schema in the block editor, you’ll find helpful information about SEO, the block editor, and what to expect for managing blocks in the future.
Here are my notes.
WordPress SEO in a Gutenberg World
- Get your SEO basics down. To rank well: produce quality content, use an SEO plugin, and create proper page titles and meta descriptions.
- In addition, create sites that are fast, user-friendly, and accessible. (Easy to say this, but can be challenging to keep it that way as you add plugins, other content, etc.)
- Yoast believes an XML sitemap should be included in WordPress core. Currently working with Google to make that happen.
- To keep ranking high, your site needs to be supported and maintained. You want people to return your site; branding is important.
- Search results are changing. Example: rich snippets are common in search engine results. Rich snippets contain title, description, URL, image.
- Search results are based on schema, a structured data method to describe something. For example, a recipe has a specific schema (code and metadata) that search engines understand. Which is a major advantage for voice search.
- According to Joost, without schema, it’s almost impossible to rank for recipes
- The block editor (Gutenberg) has schema built into the blocks, you don’t have to write the schema markup yourself
- Learn about the different schema data types (there are almost 600 types, but generally people only use a few. Example: recipe, radio, map, movie).
- The block editor can lead to decreased site performance. If you load a bunch of plugins that add 2-20 blocks each, you’ll have a lot of blocks. Like plugins, be cautious with what blocks you add.
- You can undo all your SEO efforts by making your WordPress site slower
- Expected in phase 2 of the block editor: all menus will be moved into the block editor
- de Valk is hoping block editor phase 2 will be released later this year
- The user experience of the block editor is not the best, de Valk says it needs to be improved
- Wondering whether you can disable blocks you’re not using in WordPress block editor with a block manager? It’s not available yet. According to de Valk, it’s planned for block editor phase 2.
- If you’re using Yoast SEO and have the block editor enabled, you’ll find a “how-to” and FAQ block